The DougBlog
"Et sans savoir pourquoi, disent toujours: Allons!" —Baudelaire

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Rocking Horse Ranch

So this might not be as exotic as Russia or Easter Island, but my most recent trip was to the Rocking Horse Ranch. And while it might not be steeped in history, it certainly offers a greater opportunity for cuteness!

Rocking Horse is a family dude ranch in upstate New York. We’d never heard of it, but many people I mentioned it to did—usually with fear and trepidation in their faces! Apparently it’s been around for 50 years, so maybe they’ve spruced up the place because it was actually quite nice and I recommend it for a weekend away of family fun. For me it was a long weekend with my parents and my sister’s family: Jessica, Jeff, Alana (who just turned 9), Ashley (6), and Chelsea (the big boss at 3).

Alana in the car, clearly excited to go:

Ashley checking out the rustic décor:

Searching for Injuns:

The girls very much enjoyed “mining for gems”: you buy a bag of dirt that has been laced with some pretty stones, and then sift it in the water to find them. Uncle Doug was more than happy to buy them all they wanted (and not just because the room charge was on Jessica’s card!):

True to the ranch’s name, here’s Chelsea riding the heck out of a rocking horse. I’m not sure where she learned “Giddy up! Go faster!” but that’s what she kept yelling at the horse! Click anywhere on the picture to play the video…

What kid can resist giant checkers?!:

Checking out the lake…we went kayaking, paddle-boating, banana-boating, and water-skiing:


Here’s some video of Chelsea playing shuffleboard (and for an added bonus, she almost gets bonked by a tennis ball at the end). Again, click anywhere on the picture to play…


Dinnertime! Here Supergirl (aka Ashley) attempts to remove her corn from the cob using x-ray vision:

Chelsea taking a mealtime nap:

Just to prove how deeply asleep she was we balanced a French fry on her nose (yeah, we’re basically just not very nice people):

Even birthday cake didn’t wake her!:

The birthday kids: Alana turns 9 and Papa turns 109:

Hammy Wynette:

The kids loved the Fun Barn (and with a name like that, who wouldn’t?):

Inside was a two-story ball pit and other indoor activities, like this cool “Treadwall”:

Here’s video of the Treatwall in action—featuring the Amazing Ashley (click on the picture to play):

Ball pit fun:

Is it just me, or does the slide look like a colon:

A little bit of family volleyball (not exactly on par with what you may have seen from Beijing—click on the picture to play):

Of course there was horseback riding, though only Alana was old enough to go (don’t worry, the littler kids got to ride ponies with Grandma and Papa!):

Technically cameras weren’t allowed so I snuck this photo of Jessica over my shoulder…

…and that’s Jeff and Alana in the grey t-shirt and pink tank top, respectively:

The lady directly in front with the braid was one of the wranglers. She kept yelling at me because I let my horse, Shotgun, stop and eat the grass. It wasn’t that I couldn’t stop him, it’s just that I didn’t care! If he wants a little snack then good for him! Sheesh. But I digress…one night we took a tractor ride to a campfire. It’s a bit of a ruse because the 15-minute tractor ride takes you in a giant circle to a campfire that it actually about 100 yards from where you started! But entertaining nonetheless:

Some cool fire shots:

Lunch with some characters (and I don’t just mean the kids):

Our last morning was rainy, so it was back to the indoor fun of the Fun Barn:

And Auto Bingo all the way home:

All-in-all, a surprisingly good time for all.


This classy gentleman was wearing a “I [heart] HOT MOMS” t-shirt:

“Indulgence” hand soap in the public restrooms? Oooohhh! Dare I indulge in such a luxury?!

Finally, something smacked wrong to me about the name of this slide in the kiddie pool. I think it was supposed to refer to the snake, but I kept thinking it sounds like it’s going to shake your baby, which ain’t good:


  • Good Morning,
    I am planning a Spring Break Getaway for a group of about 40-50 people (combined families). I wouold very much like to check out the availability for that time of year & also the weather. Are there lots of indoor activities for the kids, if it gets too cold outside for them??? We will have a mix of single parent families as well as two-parent families. Can I do a group mixture like that and still get a group rate????

    Any information you can offer would be most helpful, since this will be our first experience on a dude ranch!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:46 AM  

  • Spring break group trip will be around mid April (18-22)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:47 AM  

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